Sorry for the lack of updates on this. Like I said, this is taking a back seat to my Hr/G story and to my Star Wars fiction. I'll try to update it when I have days off from work.

Thanks to youn2731 and Abilenadyke for whom I would not have updated this if it were not for your reviews. lol


Chapter 8 - Surprise!

Rose was shocked. She remembered Hermione had told her about Fawkes. He was Dumbledore's pet phoenix and she remembered clearly that Al had always asked about Dumbledore. There was some kind of connection between the two. It made sense. It just clicked. You're a phoenix, Rose replied.

You mean, Al's thoughts came out surprised. Rose closed her eyes and looked to Mina. Al was flapping his wings. He flew a few feet but then came back down to the shack's floor. I'm like Fawkes.

"Ok! It's my turn," Lily squeezed her eyes. Red fur, once again, started to sprout around her body. Rose looked at her in awe, she was transforming gracefully. The fur mixed with her own mane of red hair and transformed into a red haired tail. It was bushy and even though Rose saw no color, she knew Lily was red and now white.

Is she turning into a raccoon? Al asked.

For some reason, that makes sense, Mina rang out. Rose turned her head to Mina and if she could smile, she would. Instead, she found herself wagging her tail instead. Are you two getting used to this? She asked.

Slightly, Rose replied. How did you get used to having control?

It took time, but once I get control, I didn't want to go back, she stated. Lily's body was now smaller, fatter and much furrier. She had round ears on her head, a small muzzle and large whiskers. Al cocked his bird-like head, what are you Lily?

She's a red panda! Mina yelled out.

Wait, what? Lily asked. She put her paws to her face and rubbed her eyes. Wow! This is amazing! I have a tail! Her tail was swooped up into her paws now. She began to cuddle it. Who would have known a phoenix, a red panda and two wolves would be sharing a hut together?

We cannot tell our parents, Rose said. My mum would have a fit.

Not to mention our dad, Al said. Lily nodded her small panda head. Mina sat upright and peered at her friends. Rose sat next to her and licked her head. Mina tilted her head to Rose. Once again, she wagged her tail.

We are the new marauders! Lily said. We need nicknames. Ok, like, Lupin was Moony right? Dad told us that! And Grandpa was Prongs!

Because he was a stag, Al said. So we all need names that have to do with our animals?

Well, we have two wolves, Rose said. But I think Mina needs a name that has to do with her werewolf self.

No, I don't! Do I?

Of course! Lily said. You have something to be proud of. Lupin was proud.

So we've heard, Al laughed.

I nickname Al, Talons, Lily said.

Fine, I nickname Lily Pandy, Al said.

Mina and Rose looked to one another. They were the harder ones, weren't they? Rose thought to herself. She didn't want the others to hear her thoughts and she wondering if she was separating them. When no one commented on her sentence, she knew she did it. Mina laid herself down on the floor.

Padfoot the second should be Rose, Mina said.

No, I don't want to take Sirius' name, Rose said. My uncle wouldn't be happy with that. Her laughter rang out in their heads which caused them all to laugh.

How about Paws then? Mina suggested.

Lily jumped up onto the banister and wrapped her tail around it excitedly, that is a good one! I like it! Paws!

And for Mina? Al asked.

Wolf and only wolf, Rose stated. It's fitting of her character. Mina seemed to have no objections. She had her head in between her front paws and slowly, she fell to sleep. Rose, took a hint and curled her body around Mina's. She too, quickly fell asleep.

---

"Oh Merlin's Pants," Lily's voice rang out over the shack. Rose opened one eye and noticed right away that she could see in color again. She only saw Lily's head. The red mane fell over her robes which she was hiding behind with her eyes closed and her brother Al was hiding under the stairs. "Oh my Merlin!"

"What is it Lily?" Rose asked. She began to get up off the floor and rubbed her neck. That's when she noticed she noticed that Mina was longer near her.

"I completely forgot!" she heard Mina say. Rose looked around for her but saw nothing. That's when she noticed the Invisibility Cloak was missing too.

"Did someone steal the Cloak?" Rose asked. "Where's Mina? I hear her but—Is she outside?"

"No, I'm sure," Mina said. Her head poked out from under the cloak and that was all Rose saw. She jumped back at the sight. "Oh dear Merlin! Why are you hiding under there? You nearly gave me a heart attack!"

Mina twirled her curly hair now with a finger. All that was exposed was her head and her hand which was making Rose feel completely uneasy. "Well, you see, I forgot that when I come back from being a werewolf—I—Well, you see—" Mina seemed to be struggling with the words but Lily threw down her robes and stood up.

"She's naked Rose!" Lily said. "We, for whatever reason, keep our clothes, but Mina, no, she looses it!"

"It's not that," Mina said. "I have to take it off or else I'll rip it. I've woken up with my robes completely ripped and my pants. Well, let's just say my dad doesn't want to keep buying me new uniforms."

Rose blinked. "And you forgot that you had to get naked? Where is your uniform?"

"I left it in my common room by accident," Mina blushed.

"Someone has to go get it!" Lily snorted.

"I'm not going!" Al shouted. "I think I scared the hell out of Mina as it is!"

"Ok, everyone calm down," Rose said. She took off her robes and held them in her lap. "I'm going to give Mina my robes and I will go to the dorm to get her clothes. If we don't show up for breakfast, I know Professor Longbottom is going to wonder where we are and that is never a good thing."

Lily went back to hiding under her robes. "Let me know when she's covered!"

Mina looked up into Rose's blue eyes with a hint of uncertainty. Rose sucked up her breath, "would you like me to turn around?"

"Please?" Mina asked with a glint of nervousness in her eyes. Rose gulped, nodded her head and turned around.

She could hear Mina stepping out from under the Cloak. She felt the floor boards creak under her bear feet. Rose closed her eyes and images began to flood her head. She saw Mina standing before her, completely nude. Rose began to shake and Mina's question shattered her thoughts, "Are you alright?"

"Yes! I'm fine," Rose lied. "Do you need my robes now?"

"Yes," Mina laughed. Rose swung them under her arm to her. She felt them being tugged away from her grasp and heard the swish of air as she put the robes on. "You can all look at me now."

Rose was the first to turn around. Mina was standing there, nude except for the navy Ravenclaw robes that were slightly small on her. She held up her hands to her mouth and wrinkled her eyebrows at Rose. "Do you really want to get my clothes?"

"Yes," Rose replied. "I don't need you going out there in the nude under the Cloak. You'll get sick if you do that."

"Wow, total Hermione moment," Lily laughed. Rose turned around to look at her cousin who was giggling. She sighed and put the Cloak over her head.

"I'll be back," she said. She pushed past Al who was sitting on the stairs.

"Didn't get to watch, did you?" Al whispered with a wink. He was sitting with his legs crossed and his head in his hands. Rose shook her bushy haired head and laughed.

"No," she whispered back. "I wish I did. She looks so good under my robes."

---

Al winked again and nudged his head to the opening. He was urging her to go. Rose's trip up to the girl's dorm was nerve racking. She nearly bumped into several Hufflepuffs on her way not to mention several Gryffindors who were hanging out with Hufflepuffs. The school had changed so much after the war. There was much more House unity and each one saw the strengths in the others. Well, all except Slytherin.

While Rose had to give them some credit, they were still a bit stand offish. Rose had to creep past Ronni, Justin and James. James had something in his hands and he knew he was trying to get them to try one of his new gadgets. "You see, when you throw it to someone, it opens up and attaches itself to their skin. Now, you might be thinking that its horrible to have that stuck permanently, but once you utter a counter-curse, it comes off," James explained. Rose couldn't see what he was doing. All she saw was his wand flick over something.

"Oh, I should throw this to one of the Slytherin," Ronni laughed. Rose didn't have time to eavesdrop; she had to get Mina's clothes. Once she was in the girl's dorm, there were three girls in there. All of them Rose had classes with, Karen Mason, Ebony Clark and Esme Dupuis. They chatted loudly about classes and how much they wanted do well on their O.W.L.S.

"I don't want to break down," Karen said. "My mum's friend had a bit of a panic attack. Well, ok, not friend, but same house you know?"

"Yeah! Mina's mum right? Oh, do you think Mina is going to do well?" she heard Ebony ask.

Esme seemed to nod her head. "She's been tutoring with Rose Weasley."

"Oh," Karen mumbled. "She's going to have a great advantage then."

Rose blushed at their praise but suddenly wanted them to leave the room. The three of them continued to chat idly about boys, spells and making out in the prefect's bathroom. She wrinkled her nose to this but then decided that if these girls were doing it, why couldn't she? Her mind went back to Mina. She started to daydream about taking her to that bathroom.

She wanted to sit Mina down and kiss her. The only image in her head now was Mina's lips pressed into hers. Her hands wrapped around her, pulling her in closer, deeper into her mouth. Rose didn't notice she had drifted off until Ebony said, "we should get going to the library."

This sentence shook Rose out of her daydream. She straighten up and ran out of the way of the entrance. The three girls jogged downstairs leaving Rose alone. She searched for Mina's bed and finally found her uniform sprawled out on her bed. She began to scoop it up in her arms when a note fell out of her pant's pocket. Rose bent down to pick it up and it opened a bit.

Inside was a picture of Rose and a note on the back. Rose known it was one of her class photos that she had given to Mina the year before. She was wondering why Mina had it in her pocket but it did make her smile. She thumbed over it with a laugh. Her hair was much bushier than it was now. Hermione had to teach her daughter how to tame her hair with magic.

Rose was never one to be fussed with her hair but that summer she began to think about dating. She wasn't sure who she was going to have a crush on and she was surprised at whom her brain picked but she knew she wanted something. She was wondering if that was her father's influence.

***

When she went home, she had some time away from Hugo and Hermione who were both unpacking in his room. She was sitting in the living room facing away from the kitchen. Her hands were busy turning the pages of her textbook. It was her 4th year potions textbook that once belonged to her mother. The cover read: Property of Hermione Granger, which was struck out and underneath was Rose Weasley.

Hermione wanted her daughter to have new textbooks but when she noticed Ron give Hugo his old potions book, she suddenly wanted one that belonged to her. Hermione fought with her (and Ron) for a while until she finally gave in. She took her textbook off the shelve and handed it to Rose.

She thumbed through it and placed her finger on all the notes her mother took. "Mum, can I look to this when I need help?" she asked. Hermione smiled warmly, "of course. And don't feel like you can't make your own notes." With her wand, Hermione stuck out her name and with a quill wrote Rose's name.

"Now it's yours," Hermione had told her. Rose thought of that the day she sat there alone in the living room. Her thoughts were taken away when she heard Ron behind her.

"You are like her aren't you?" he laughed. Rose turned around to look at him.

"Is that a bad thing?" she asked.

He shook his head and sat down on the arm rest. "I never thought I'd see this day. When I would have you and Hugo. You know, when she was your age, she was already taming that hair of hers."

Rose put the book down and absent-mindly began to fuss with her hair. "Why?"

"Because she had a boy she fancied," Ron said. "This bloke named Krum."

"So you and mum weren't always together?" she asked.

"No," Ron admitted. "I dated Lavender Brown and she dated Viktor Krum. It was silly though because we liked each other we just never acted on it. Anyway, the reason she did was because she wanted to look good for Viktor at the Yule Ball."

"Dad, are you sure it was for that only?" Rose smiled. "Maybe she was trying to make you jealous! She told me that you didn't ask her out to the ball so you lost to Viktor."

Ron blushed. "That's what your mother has been feeding you?"

"But I know it's true because Uncle Harry blew his chance with this girl named Cho," Rose said.

"Uncle Harry has a lot of explaining to do," Ron snorted.

***

Every since that day, Rose just took it into account to fix herself for someone she would like. She even thought now that perhaps she was already choosing Mina because on the back of the photo it had said:

Dear Mina,

Thanks for being my friend this year! I'm going to miss you over the summer, a lot. I can't wait to see you again.

Yours always,

Rose Weasley

Rose gasped. She did like Mina. She remembered sending this to her by owl after she did her hair. Something clicked back into Rose's head when she heard girls outside on the stairs. She shoved the photo back into the uniform and ran outside.

---

"Where have you been?" Al asked. He was sitting cross-legged on the floor with Lily next to him and Mina curled up across from him.

"What have you been doing?" Rose asked.

She gave the uniform to Mina who said, "Al had Gobstones."

Out on the wooden floor were the Gobstones and it seemed that Lily, whose were red, was winning. Al's Gobstones were emerald while Mina's were blue. "I didn't take that long did I?" Rose asked.

Mina got up to her feet with a laugh. "Not really, we just started," she replied.

Al gathered up the stones and walked to the stairs with Lily. "See you two later," he said. "Wolf and Paws."

Rose winked at him, "good bye Talons and Pandy."

Mina held onto the uniform and said, "I don't want you to think that I don't like you."

"Where did that come from?" Rose asked.

"Well, it's because I keep asking you to turn around," Mina said. "I just don't feel okay with my body. That's alright?"

"Mina, are we even dating?" Rose blurted.

"I—I don't know," Mina stammered. "W—We did kiss d—does that mean?"

"From what I know," Rose said. "It does."

Mina blushed. She held her House sweater close to her face in an attempt to hide. Rose grinned and turned around to allow her to dress. Once again, her mind was rapt with images of Mina nude. All she wanted to do was turn around, hold her in her arms and—No, she couldn't do that. Not yet. No matter how much her body was begging her, she couldn't. She had to think about Mina.

They were girlfriends, right? If I don't even know that, how can I be so sure that I want to—Well, I can't even bring myself to think it!

"Rose?" Mina's voice cut through her thoughts. "You can turn around now."

Rose turned around to see Mina standing there but something was missing. She had her shoes on, her pants, shirt, tie, House sweater and robes. So what was missing? Rose looked her over again. What did she miss?

"Um, did you remember my glasses?" Mina asked. The blonde flipped her curly hair over her shoulder.

Rose blushed. "I—I um, no, I forgot them," she admitted. Her mind was too lost in her flashbacks and her revelation that she was, indeed, in love with Mina for over a year now. She was also engrossed in the fact that Mina carried her picture with her. She blushed deeper still.

"It's ok," Mina said. She began to take steps closer and closer to Rose. She slipped her hand into hers. "I just can't see you that well, and well—" Mina's voice trailed off for a moment. It seemed like she was gathering her strength to speak.

"And well, I can't see how beautiful you are," she said at last. This made Rose blush more. She was starting to turn into a beat. She looked to the floor and tired to utter something but nothing came to her mind.

Damn it! Rose, say something! Nothing came. She felt Mina's other hand on her face. It was tilting her head back up and she was now level with deep green eyes. She gulped but Mina's mouth came closer to hers and finally they pressed into each other.

"This is a great place to practice—ROSE!" James' voice rushed over them and Mina jumped 50 yards away from Rose. "Mina? What the—"

Rose wanted to keep this a secret until they were ready but now, she wasn't so sure she could that.